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Snowdon isn’t ‘deserving’ of Welsh-only name because Wales built a café at the top, says travel writer

30 Apr 2021 3 minutes Read
Colin Park / The new summit cafe on Snowdon / CC BY-SA 2.0

People from Wales shouldn’t have built a café on Snowdon if they loved the mountain enough to insist on a Welsh-only name, according to a travel writer.

Hugh Morris waded into the debate over whether the National Park in Eryri should refer to Snowdon only by its Welsh name, Yr Wyddfa.

Campaigners have suggested that Snowdonia National Park Authority only refer to itself as Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri.

“I am not qualified to wade into a debate on etymology, indiginous ownership and nationalist politics, but I would say if the Welsh loved Snowdon so much why did they build whacking big caff at the top?” Hugh Morris wrote.

“Can you imagine the English sticking a restaurant on top of Scafell Pike? The Scots a pub on Ben Nevis? The French a bistro on Mont Blanc?

“I would much rather imagine Snowdon by its original moniker were it a peak befitting of legend, of the sort of magic that only mountains can conjure; as it stands an Anglicanised spin off suits a summit that can be reached by the 11.23am from Llanberis (£32 return).”

‘Mythical’

He referred to the fact that the successful battle to rename Ayers Rock in Australia its indigenous title, Uluru, “went hand in hand with the campaign to stop visitors clambering all over it”.

“The two are similar shows of respect,” he said.

“I would love to see Snowdon widely known as Yr Wyddfa, it is moving and curious and speaks to the mythical power of any great landscape, but until the mountain is reclaimed from the locomotive hordes, I do not think it is deserving.”

The national park authority rejected the motion to ditch the name of Snowdon for the Welsh language one on Wednesday, saying that a committee was looking at the matter.

Cllr John Pughe Roberts who proposed the motion, has accused the councillors on Snowdonia National Park Authority who opposed it, of not having “any confidence in the Welsh language” and of “kicking the can down the road”.

ts Chair, Wyn Ellis Jones said its members had decided there was “no need to consider the motion” that day, because a Welsh Place Names Task and Finish Group has already been appointed to look into the issue.

petition has now been launched for a national park authority to ditch the name Snowdon.

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Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
12 days ago

His argument that the presence of the cafe diminishes the case for only using the Welsh name is a little spurious, but he is right to lament the way in which Yr Wyddfa has been converted into a low-grade mass-tourism leisure facility. And he is right to draw an unfavourable comparison with iconic mountains in Scotland and England. New Zealand is strict about tourist use of its landscape, and Wales could learn a lot from them.

Jonathan Williams
Jonathan Williams
12 days ago

I shall pass on this informative piece of writing the next time I go skiing, the Austrians have the cheek to give their mountains and mountain cafes German names, how dare they they do that! If they wanted German only names then they shouldn’t have put cable cars to get people to the top.

Williams Merks
Williams Merks
12 days ago

Pa iaith ti yn feddwl mae nhw yn siarad yn Awstria?

Jeff
Jeff
12 days ago

I don’t bother going up Snowdon, it’s annoying when you come off the pig track bear the summit only for the train to pass with people waving 😩

Seico7
Seico7
11 days ago
Reply to  Jeff

It’s ‘Yr Wyddfa’ & the track is pyg, an abbreviation of Pen y Gwryd.

Daniel Hornby
Daniel Hornby
5 days ago

Well what a………… The cafe has been on the top of snowdon near enough as long as the railway that travels to it has existed. I believe originally the summit cafe was also a mountain rescue location. As a travel writer maybe he should concern himself with travel and not a nations heart.

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